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Four-Alarm House

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Product Description

poems by

Carolyn Gelland

Poetry chapbook, 32 pages, $8 cover price

($6 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)

ISBN: 978-1-59948-357-3

Released: 2012

This Limited Edition chapbook is part of Main Street Rag’s Author’s Choice Chapbook Series.

 

About The Author

 

CFrost_PxCarolyn Gelland

Carolyn Gelland has published poems in numerous literary journals including Iodine Poetry Journal, The Bitter Oleander, Sou’wester, Off the Coast, Grasslimb, and RiverSedge. She worked as a translator from Norwegian and ran a small art gallery while living in New York City. After marrying, she and her husband, poet Kenneth Frost, moved to rural Maine to focus on writing poems.

Comments

This is a wonderful collection of poetry written with a clear voice and concise language. Carolyn Gelland begins as a storyteller by a fire with a wild cat at her side, and transports us through time and place, from Viking conquests to an Ipiutak burial site in Alaska to ancient Peru, drawing from the subtle, the spiritual, as well as the splendor in both Nature and what man can create, including what man can destroy. She explores the studios of DeKooning, Munch, and Cezanne, takes joy in the ordinary, marvels at both the power and peace in Nature, leaving the reader on a wistful note with “ten /moons / on my eyelashes.”

Read and enjoy this exploration of the world around us through Gelland’s observations and journeys through both the natural and the metaphysical. I found myself reading this collection several times over, and discovering something new each time. This is a thoughtful and delightful first collection.

Jonathan K. Rice
Publisher/Editor Iodine Poetry Journal,
author of UKULELE and other poems

In the whispering galleries of Carolyn Gelland’s Four-Alarm House gleam images of great delicacy and daring. Her poems are boldly self-contained, compact, painterly and yet invitingly inlaid with surrealist intimations. I very much admire the kinetic composures, the striking, oracular self-possession of this book.

— Robert Farnsworth

Samples

WILD CAT

How many years now
has the wild cat
sat by my fire,
seven moons in her eyes,
the wind kneeling
at the door
in furious adoration
while Tintoretto’s angels
purr at
the flickering
mirror of her milk,
snowing all those faces.

 

THE FIRE IN THE WOODSTOVE

I. Blue Dragon

The blue dragon
of the north wind
snaps at his
yellow
straitjacket.
Azariah’s song
burns a full moon
inside my house
as forests, fragrant
with resin,
dream in the flames
the holidays of spring.

 

II. Viking Funeral Ship

This final swan
breathes away land
as the fire ruffles
its red wings.
The mast bows
to its own ashes,
roars up
constellations
shifting red
out of the smoke.

Drums
beat
upon a long black tide.
A fountain cries
out of the other ocean.

 

III. Burning Bush

On the dazed mountain
a bush blooms
a thunderbolt’s
athletic eyes
though no smoke
drifts away.

 

LAST CALL

Are the hairline cracks in the wall
a plant whose roots
torch the buried sun?

O capering red point
that leaps and flares
in maps and harvests

of percipience,
will the heart nourish
its cracking moment

on a horn note that grows
its glitter like porcupine
quills on a lost god?

II. Viking Funeral Ship

This final swan
breathes away land
as the fire ruffles
its red wings.
The mast bows
to its own ashes,
roars up
constellations
shifting red
out of the smoke.

Drums
beat
upon a long black tide.
A fountain cries
out of the other ocean.

III. Burning Bush

On the dazed mountain
a bush blooms
a thunderbolt’s
athletic eyes
though no smoke
drifts away.

LAST CALL

Are the hairline cracks in the wall
a plant whose roots
torch the buried sun?

O capering red point
that leaps and flares
in maps and harvests

of percipience,
will the heart nourish
its cracking moment

on a horn note that grows
its glitter like porcupine
quills on a lost god?

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